By Lisa Gana, Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas
Just because Moet Chandon, Crystal, and Dom Perignon are the most famous champagnes on the market, doesn’t mean they’re the best. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire paycheck just to drink a good bottle of the bubbly. We’ve compiled a top 15 list of our favorite champagnes, many of which are award winning and can be purchased for under $15.
Champagnes, Sparkling Wines, Prosecco’s and Cava’s
1. Louis Bouillot Rose Sparkling Wine:
100% Pinot Noir Grapes, Burgundy France. Scored 88 points from Wine Enthusiast and costs about $15.00
2. Thorn Clarke NV Brut Reserve:
A Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Sparkling Wine Blend from South Australia. Thorn Clarke Brut Reserve scored 90 points from Cellar Tracker and is available for about $14.00.
3. Castellar Cava, Spain:
The most famous sparkling wine in Spain, Castellar Cava is a light refreshing and easy drinking style of Champagne. Made with Macabeo, Parelleda and Xarel-lo grapes, the Cava stands out from the other sparkling wines on the shelf and costs about $13.00. Castellar scored very well at the 2010 Wine Trials.
4. Domain Ste Michelle Brut:
For 2 years in a row, Domain St Michelle beat out Dom Perignon in a double blind taste test at the Wine Trials. Domain St Michelle costs about $13.00 per bottle while Dom Perignon costs about $150.00. What else is there to say?
5. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut Champagne:
A classic French Champagne with a Pino Noir Base and smaller parts Chardonnay with Pinot Meunier. The Piper Heidseck winery has been making wines and champagnes since 1785 and a bottle of Brut is about $25.00.
6. Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine:
Napa Valley, California. With a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this California Sparkling Wine scored 92 points from Wine Spectator and 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. Taittinger Brut Cuvee costs about $23.00.
7. Domaine Chandon Brut:
Napa Valley, California. A Chardonnay based California Sparkling wine that scored 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast, Chandon can be purchased for around $20.00. Chandon is owned by the world renowned French Champagne Moet-Chandon. The Blanc de Noirs is a gorgeous salmon-pink and is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay is also a great buy.
8. Roederer Estate Brut:
Anderson Valley, CA. Owned and made by the infamous and obnoxiously expensive Cristal, the Roederer Estate Brut for the rock-bottom price. With about 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, this sparkling wine is available for about $20.00.
Napa Valley, CA. A crisp, dry sparkling wine that scored 90’s from the Wine Enthusiast and the Wine Spectator. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige is a great sparkling wine for only $16.00.
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut:
Champagne France. This legendary Champagne scores above 90’s across the board from all of the major wine and champagne ratings and it costs much less than Moet Chandon. Veuve Clicquot Brut can be purchased for about $34.00.
11. Piper Sonoma Brut:
California. With 60% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, this California Brut is bottle fermented in the traditional Champagne style. Piper Sonoma Brut is available for about $12.00.
12. Moet Chandon Imperial:
Champagne, France. Moet Chandon is a classic French Champagne. Perhaps a little pricey but Moet has won awards across the board for all of its Champagnes on the shelf. The Moet Imperial is available for about $40.00.
13. Castello Del Poggio Muscat Blanc Sparkling Wine:
Italy. Sweet and well balanced with refined fruitiness, the Castello Del Poggio is actually a staple of the Olive Garden. Seriously, we just mentioned the Olive Garden. Either way, this is a solid sparkling wine for about $15.00.
Honorable mentions worth the purchase…
13. Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose
14. Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
15. Brut Reserve Particuliere
16. Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur
17. Pirovano Prosecco
18. Presto Prosecco
Check out – Award Winning Champagnes Under $15
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